Monday, 6 February 2012

Seeking Volunteers!

Things have been getting busy here at Random Opera. Plans for Carmen are progressing well, & there are many plans afoot for future years. It's all starting to get exciting - and it's also starting to be a lot of work...

This is where you come in! 

I'm looking for volunteers who are willing to become part of the management team of Random Opera. You don't need to be a singer; you just need to be enthusiastic about what Random Opera is trying to do. Specifically, I'm looking for people to help with the following:

Marketing - Put together our advertising, posters & that.
PR - speaking to local papers & writing copy for our press releases. 
Web design - maintaining & updating our website.
Funding & development - helping to look for new patrons, sponsors & other sources of financial support.
Event booker - liaising with venues & looking for booking opportunities.

If you think you can help me to make this opera company a success, please get in touch!

Email me at , or find me on twitter: @random_opera

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Getting through auditions

It's all done! Well, nearly...

Auditions for Carmen took place last weekend at the Music School of Rugby School. Overall I'm very pleased with how it went, & Stuart Wild managed to decide on most of the cast. There were some great performers, & Stuart commented that there were some difficult choices to make. The final casting represented the best balance of voices for this show, but I hope that those who weren't successful will return next time (yes, there will be a next time...).

We are still looking for someone to play the role of Escamillo, so if you are interested (or if you know someone who may be), get in touch & let me know.

Here's the cast list as it stands:

One piece of advice I will give is this: If you're setting up your own opera company, don't try to run the auditions AND audition for a part yourself. It's not conducive to your best performance to be running around sorting posters, rehearsal rooms & collections from the station in the minutes before you go in.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Open Auditions for Carmen

So we've finally made it to first base!

Open auditions for our performance of Carmen will be held on Sunday 11th December 2011, in Rugby.

Further details are available at our website:

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The tribulations of putting on an opera

Well, our plans for Carmen are in motion. And by "in motion", I'm talking in the context of the progression of a glacier down a valley...

Issues that I've come up against so far:

When you're amateur, you're either dealing with other amateurs, or people who treat you like amateurs. Either way, you're no-one's top priority. This applies regardless of whether you're paying professional rates. We've changed the translation that we're using because we'd waited so long for the publishers to come back to us.
Tip: This won't change, so allow for it. Make sure that you are prepared before you speak to anyone, so that as soon as you do (finally) get hold of them, you can get all the answers you need.

(I should point out that I don't blame anyone for the delays - if we're talking to someone about one day's work, and they're also trying to arrange a month long tour, it's inevitable that we'll come further down the list.)

Get a project team, and divide up the work right at the start. This might sound obvious, but I found it really easy to think "well, I just need to speak to X & Y first, to get things moving; once it's definitely on we can get everyone involved". It turns out that getting to that point, where it's all going ahead etc, actually takes quite a bit of time & effort, and it makes it increasingly difficult to hand over the work later on.

A related point, but - Make sure you have a team. When you're in the ideas phase of a project, it's all very exciting, and everyone will be offering to get involved. Once you actually need people to do something, these offers may not materialise. Don't blame them for it - everyone is busy, and if you haven't been specific about what you want them to do, you can't expect them to commit.

An easy trap to fall into is to have the mindset that because it's an amateur production, it'll be a jolly lark with everyone smiling as they all get involved, creatively painting backdrops. It won't be. I promise you, it won't. It'll be you, at midnight, smeared with paint (and not in the "attractive people decorating their flat" way that TV adverts suggest), desperately trying to find a way to make the flats look like something other than a 3 year old's first painting of a house...

So, be specific. If someone says they'll help, say "ok, I need someone to do X, Y or Z - which can you help with?" Make sure they understand exactly what you're looking for, and what the timescales are. Then you both know up front what they're commiting to.

Nevertheless, we are getting there. I expect that all the audition information will be up on the website this weekend (that's , incase you missed it...), so if you're interested, do keep an eye out.

Right, I must go - having not followed my own advice, I've got a few things to do...

Thursday, 27 October 2011

New website goes live!

Hoorah and hooray, I hear you say!

Yes, that's right, our website is finally live:

Look out for details of auditions for Carmen, which will be available soon.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Recital: St Andrew's Church, Rugby - 01 November 2011, 1pm

Random Opera Company present Selected Songs, a lunchtime recital

on Tuesday 1st November 2011, 1pm at St Andrew's Church, Rugby


Lynette Turner Parry - Soprano
Katherine Cooper - Mezzo-soprano
Tom Pearson - Tenor
Richard Jones - Baritone
James Longstaffe - Piano

Random Opera Company present a selection of English, German & Italian art songs at this lunchtime recital.

Programme includes songs by Vaughan Williams, Elgar, Rossini, Beethoven and Schubert

Entry is free of charge

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Announcement of Honorary Patrons

I am delighted to announce that international opera and concert soprano Alison Roddy, and John Lloyd Davies, Head of Opera Development at ROH2, have agreed to become Honorary Patrons of Random Opera Company.

Alison and John have between them a wealth of experience, and we hope to draw on this as we continue to develop the company.